Executive Director addresses African and global leaders on energy and development at Rome Summit
(IEA Newsroom, 30 Jan 2024) IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol on Monday addressed heads of state and government from African countries and around the world on the importance of secure and sustainable energy supplies in underpinning economic development at a high-level summit held by the Italian government in Rome.
At the Italy-Africa Summit hosted by Prime Minister Georgia Meloni of Italy, Dr Birol spoke about the importance of international cooperation and establishing mutually beneficial partnerships, particularly on energy resources, that can generate sustainable growth for a people-centred energy transition.
During the conference, Italy, which holds the G7 Presidency in 2024, shared the priorities of its Mattei Plan, an initiative that will be jointly formulated with African leaders and countries as a model for a renewed approach to Europe-Africa relations. Italy will also make development in Africa an important priority during its G7 Presidency.
“Africa’s development path tells the story of the deep-seated inequalities that exist in our world today,” Dr Birol said. “How can it be that Africa is so resource rich and yet so energy poor at the same time? The world needs a new relationship with Africa. One that supports the continent to realise its full potential. And energy is the catalyst.”